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What makes a book children’s fiction?

There are a lot of different theories out there. Most children’s books feature main characters who are children – children usually read about children and adults usually read about adults, though there are some exceptions to this rule. Learn to write a good children’s story following the guidelines of children’s genres so the reader can better identify with the main character. Especially if the leading character is more like them.

Most children’s books also feature children’s problems, such as dealing with independence from their parents, coping with social interactions, and similar situations. Children’s fiction almost always features the protagonist solving his or her own problems with minimal or no assistance from adults. In fact, adults may be completely absent from many kids’ books, whether they’re at work or in another world completely.

Children’s fiction comes in a number of different categories, just like adult fiction. There are many different book genres aimed at younger readers, and these genres are often further divided by the age of the target reader. It’s important for writers to learn to write for the audience they’re trying to reach, and keep the length and style appropriate. Baby and toddler books are for the youngest children, and may have only a few pages, with very few words on each page. There is usually a lot of pictures. Picture books are a little longer – approximately thirty-two pages, and have more words. They’re targeted to readers between four and eight.

There are also picture books out there for older children, but these are somewhat less common. Generally these books feature simple plots with a single main character and a familiar type of story. Illustrations are still a significant feature. Easy readers are the next step up, and are for children just beginning to read on their own. While still illustrated, these books have smaller pictures, more text, and a format more like an adult book. Unlike picture books, easy readers can make sense with no illustrations.

Transition books are longer and relatively simple, and are the book genre between easy readers and chapter books. Chapter books are for kids between seven and ten, and start to incorporate chapters. They also have more complex plots and somewhat longer sentences, though they’re still pretty simple. They often have illustrations, but these are often black and white, and on every second or third page.

When you learn to write for children; grasp the idea of children’s fiction and the genres of children’s books. Especially if you are a newbie to children’s writing.

Children eight to twelve are the target audience for middle grade books. These have at last one subplot, and have a broader range of subject matter. They can be up to about forty thousand words, and may not include pictures. The next type of children’s book is young adult. Books for children over the age of twelve and teenagers. These books cover a wide range of subjects, length, and complexities, with many being interesting to adult readers as well as children. They can go right up to sixty thousand words, with occasional examples (such as Harry Potter) coming in at well over this count.

When you learn to write children’s books it is important to know what children’s fiction is and what the guidelines are for the specific genre of children’s book you are writing for. Research the publisher you chose to use! Every publisher will have a different set of rules. You wouldn’t want to send your manuscript to a publisher that concentrates on romance novels or an early reader to a publisher that only publishes books for babies and toddlers. Give your children’s book the best chance to succeed by being professional and targeting the right publisher for your story!


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